These sutras are techniques to find the center. The center is already there, because there is no possibility of being a circle without a center. The circle can exist only with a center, so the center is only forgotten. It is there, but we are not aware. It is there, but we do not know how to look at it. We do not know how to focus the consciousness on it.
The third technique about centering:
Closing the seven openings of the head with your hands, a space between your eyes becomes all inclusive.
This is one of the oldest techniques – very much used, and one of the simplest also. Close all the openings of the head – eyes, ears, nose, mouth. When all the openings of the head are closed, your consciousness, which is continuously flowing out, is stopped suddenly: it cannot move out.
You may not have observed, but even if you stop your breathing for a moment, suddenly your mind will stop – because with breathing mind moves on. That is a conditioning with the mind. You must understand what “conditioning” means, then only will this sutra be easy to understand.
Pavlov, one of the most famous Russian psychologists, has created this term “conditioning” – or “conditioned reflex” – a day-to-day word used all over the world. Everyone who is acquainted with psychology even a little knows the word. Two processes of thought – any two processes – can become so associated that if you start with one, the other is also triggered.
This is the famous Pavlovian example. Pavlov worked with a dog. He found that if you put dog food before a dog, its saliva begins to flow. The tongue of the dog comes out and he begins to get ready, prepared for eating. This is natural. When he is seeing the food, or even imagining the food, saliva starts flowing. But Pavlov conditioned this process with another. Whenever the saliva would start to flow and the food was there, he would do some other things. For example, he would ring a bell, and the dog would listen to the bell ringing. For fifteen days, whenever the food was placed, the bell would ring. Then on the sixteenth day food was not placed before the dog, only the bell was rung. But still the saliva started flowing and the tongue came out, as if the food was there.
But there was no food, only the bell ringing. There is no natural association between the bell ringing and saliva, the natural association is with food. But now the continuous ringing of the bell had become associated with it, and even the ringing of the bell would start the process.
According to Pavlov – and he is right – our whole life is a conditioned process. The mind is a conditioning. Thus, if you stop something in the conditioning, every other associated thing also stops.